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- Page 5

  • Joy is...

    ... 'wobble head' kings and an angel.

    I saw these in the window of a local charity shop as I pounded the pavements, and thought, if they are still there later, I will buy them, because they are just so joyful.

    They were still there, I did buy them (to the bemusement of the nice refined shop assistant) and I absolutely love them! 

  • The Sixtenth Blessing

    Chocolate coins - soy free, yippee!

    When I was a child, no  matter how tight money was - and often it really was - there were always chocolate coins at Christmas.  So, for me, this blessing is not just indulgence, it's also remembering... round chocolate always tasted so good, and the , usually oversized, coins a richness that otherwise was unknown.  Even in 2020 I still find chocolate coins rather magical!

    I wonder what, for you are the special (childhood?) memories that bring you Christmas joy?

  • A Poem, A Picture and A Prayer - Day 13

    Today's poem is called 'Wit Wonders' author unknown, written in the fifteenth century and so no copyright issues that I'm aware of!

    A God and yet a man
    a maid and yet a mother
    wit wonders what wit can
    conceive this or the other.

    A God and can He die?
    A dead man, can He live?
    What wit can well reply?
    What reasons reason give?

    God, Truth itself, doth teach it
    Man’s wit sinks too far under
    by reasons power to reach it:

    Believe and leave to wonder.

    The photo is one I took recently when in the University of Glasgow chapel to lead socially-distssnced morning prayers, and seems to express 'wit wondering' quite nicely!

    Here is the prayer:

    God of contradictions,

    Anomalies co-existing in perfect harmony,

    When intellect is inadequate,

    When wit wonders what on earth it all means,

    Help us to suspend disbelief,

    Let go of the questions, the reason, the doubts -

    And enter the wonder of your truth



  • The Fifteenth Blessing

    Today's gift is a balloon - and almost all the bags contain 'Christmas' balloons with a cheery design printed on them... I ran out, so some bags have slightly more expensive plain coloured balloons!

    Preachers often use balloons when they talk about God's Spirit breathing new life into the disicples at Pentecost, or alongside the story of the valley of dry bones.  This reduction of us to floppy bits of rubber - maybe with a face printed on - isn't entriely helpful in my view!  As God's beloved children, we already have the Spirit's breath of life in us.

    So maybe, instead we could see the balloon, filled with our own breath, as a simple symbol of joy, of fun, of divine mischief even - as God's untameable Spirit tops us up yet again...

    Mischievous thought... does this blown up balloon infer that Santa has gone all charismatic on us?!

    [Safety note - be careful with balloons, especially if your have pets or small children.  If/when the balloons burst, be sure to get all the bits to avoid risk of choking due to accidental ingestion]

  • A Poem, A Picture and A Prayer - Day 12

    Today's poem is The Visitation by Elizabeth Jennings, which you can read here.

    The image is of the statue of the visitation which stands outside the Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem in Israel (read more here)

    And here's the prayer...

    God of secrets and surprises,

    Of bewildering contradictions -

    Pain disguised as joy,

    Life wrought through death,

    And the ordinary made extraordinary,

    Help us, like Mary and Elizabeth,

    To find moments undisturbed -

    By men* or by miracles -

    And to be at one with you



    * Whilst I would intuitively use 'humans' or 'people' in a context like this, 'men' matches the poem ... and I am also intrigued by this most feminine encounter where to be uninterrupted by 'male' humans' is significant.  If you are a man reading this, then maybe think of a male-male encounter hallowed by the absence of women.